Thank you to Disney and Marvel Studios for inviting me to the Black Panther Press Conference, an all-expense paid trip. Photos: ©GettyImages 2018
The morning after watching the world premiere, while waiting for the global Black Panther press conference to start, I tried to process everything happening. The film surpassed my expectations, showed me that women can be heroes too and I realized how powerful the Black Panther was going to be.
As the press conference begun, you could really tell that it was a passion project for the cast. Director Ryan Coogler spoke so highly of everyone’s hard work. The talent told us behind-the-scenes info, joked with each other and shared how excited they are about the movie. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the press conference.
Highlights From the Black Panther Press Conference
The press conference was led by Mischelle Renee Turner, who is an entertainment correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
Q: Kevin, why Chadwick for Black Panther?
I think you hear people say this all the time when you’re in a setting like this. But he was the only choice. We were sitting around a table, we were coming up with the story for Civil War – Nate Moore, our Executive Producer, suggested bringing in Black Panther, because we were looking for a third party who wouldn’t necessarily side with Cap or side with Ironman. And almost instantly, we all said Chadwick. And in my memory, although maybe it was the next day, we got him on a speaker phone right then. -Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios
Q: Ryan, I know you were really nervous and excited, but once you saw it last night and you heard the response from the audience, what did you think?
Oh, man, I felt – I just felt incredibly blessed, you know, to have had the opportunity to make the film this way, to make the film with this studio, working with Kevin and his team – Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Nate Moore, who Chadwick was just talking about – has been like – an incredible opportunity. And it’s not something I ever imagined would happen. And it’s good to work with some of my mentors, and these people who I’ve watched for my whole life, and some friends that I’ve made through this process. -Ryan Coogler, Black Panther Director
Q: This goes to Angela, Letitia, Danai, and Lupita. This film is Black Panther, but I feel like it really could have been called ‘The Bad-Ass Women of Wakanda’. But how proud of yourselves were you – to see yourselves up, being so powerful, and so beautiful, and so regal on that screen?
Extraordinarily so. And so pleased that this story, you know, written by Ryan, and Joe Robert Cole, and Marvel, that it supported that. You know, it – you know, in African culture, you know, they feel as if there is no king without a queen. And I think in this story, it highlights the queen, you know, the warrior, you know, the general – the young sister, you know. So I was so proud to have my daughter, and my son there last night, because in their faces, and in their spirit – and they were feeling themselves. -Angela Bassett, Ramonda
Q: Letitia, my daughter wants to know, what your favorite weapon or gadget was?
Bless you guys for coming and supporting us – my favorite gadget would definitely be – I created all of ‘em, right? I think T’Challa’s suit is quite beautiful. And – I think the gauntlets is pretty dope, because it’s her personal little thing. Yeah, it’s got like Vibranium in it. -Letitia Wright, Shuri
Q: This film is pretty radical. Ryan and Kevin, I was entertained but surprised that Marvel let Black Panther go there. Can you talk about the relevant social themes in the film?
I think it’s happened for the comics and it’s happened with the movie. Ryan wrote this for the most part, you know, a year and a half ago, two years ago so things have happened in the world which makes the film seem more relevant. There are other things in the film that have been relevant for centuries, but the truth of the matter is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and the whole Marvel bullpen created Wakanda and created T’Challa and created Black Panther and made him a smarter, more accomplished character than any of the other white characters in the mid 1960s. So they had the guts to do that in the mid 1960s. The least we can do is live up to that and allow this story to be told the way it needed to be told and not shy away from things that the Marvel founders didn’t shy away from in the height of the civil rights era. -Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios
Q: Did Wakanda turn out like you guys thought it would look in your mind’s eye?
Yeah, I think so. I had a chance to look at some of the concept art pretty earlier on and, you know, the photos and the graphic art Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw, you know. We got a little glimpse of it, but to actually see it on screen, fully rendered – the completed project – it was incredible and mind blowing. -Michael B Jordan, Erik Killmonger
Q: Andy and Martin, You’re in this incredible experience with all of the African talent, African descendants talent, actors behind the cameras, crew, how did that or will it do you think affect your world view and your view as artists?
Actually we were just talking about that earlier on and it was very funny ‘cause you reminded me of a story of Ryan saying to us before we were about to do our scene. Ryan came up to us and said, “you know, I’ve never actually directed two white actors before.” And probably not, probably ever, it was hilarious, it was kind of hilarious, but at the same time it was just like “f— that’s tragic”, you know. It was kind of insane and kind of like weird, it was an incredible experience working with Ryan. He is one of the most brilliant, wonderful, warm, humble, incredibly clever, articulate visionary directors and just to be part of this. -Andy Serkis, Ulysses Klaue
Official Black Panther Trailer
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